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Posts with tag esl

ESL interviews Tom Chilton


Jay Harding from ESL TV was able to catch up to Blizzard Lead Designer and the resident PvP guru Tom Chilton at the World of Warcraft Arena Tournament Regional Finals in Cologne, Germany last June and got to squeeze a decent length interview. Because of the focus of the event, Chilton talked a lot about PvP changes, particularly the impact of the upcoming Patch 3.2. Chilton, also known as Kalgan, expressed Blizzard's intent on trying to keep different comps viable while taking small steps to curb the dominance of extremely popular comps such as RMP and cleave, which he stopped short of calling a "faceroll comp" (still goes to show he was thinking it, though!). Highlights from the video include:
  • Resilience - the change to Resilience in Patch 3.2 will make the greatest impact in Arena PvP, slowing down matches and likely impacting the effectivity of "burst" comps.
  • The nerf to the 2v2 bracket is intended to equalize class representation since 2v2 isn't always a good bracket for all classes. Chilton mentions that "as the bracket size comes down, you lose a lot of those different synergies between different classes"
  • Chilton says, "there's room for competitive Battlegrounds," and that "rated Battlegrounds is something that (Blizzard) has been thinking about for quite a while." He says they'll provide more information in the future.
  • Isle of Conquest is intended to be epic, they want to "bring back a little of that crazy, big battle feel" and intergrating some features of existing Battlegrounds with new ones.
  • Kalgan and his girlfriend will kick your butt in 2v2.
It's a nice interview for ESL's WoW Wednesdays, and while it doesn't give too much information we don't already know (especially since you obviously read WoW.com...), it's always good to hear news straight from the proverbial horse's mouth. This actually got me all excited for the PvP Panel during BlizzCon, hopefully we'll hear a bunch of new stuff there.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, Interviews

Blizzard eSports channel streams Arena invitational


The gates are about to open and mayhem is about to ensue as the second week of the ESL TV Invitational Arena Tournament kicks off today. This special invitational event will feature four top teams from all over Europe -- x6tence from Spain, Rest in Many Pieces from Germany, aAa Nawak from France, and newcomers Sickology from... some mysterious place in Europe, probably. The whole event will be streamed live on the Blizzard eSports channel at 22:00 CEST (4pm EST).

The Spanish team x6tence won the Intel Extreme Master Global Challenge, while aAa Nawak is one of Europe's top RMP teams, placing 3rd at the IEM Global Finals. Also playing RMP is Rest in many Pieces (formerly known as mousesports), and completing the line-up is Sickology, composed of relative newcomers running a WLD (Warrior, Warlock, Druid) comp. The show is estimated to run for two hours, and should be a real treat for Arena enthusiasts. Active World of Warcraft subscribers can find the Blizzard eSports Channel through Account Management or simply head over to the ESL's Blizzard TV channel.

It seems like a good day for sports fans, too, with this show squeezed between the Champion's League Finals match between Barcelona and Manchester United and Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference Finals between the LA Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. For World of Warcraft PvP afficionados who also happen to love football and basketball (could be just me, I dunno), it looks like we'll have to look for a very comfortable chair.

Filed under: Events, PvP, Arena, Europe

Blizzard partners with ESL TV for Blizzard eSports Channel

Blizzard has announced a partnership with ESL TV to bring streaming footage of eSport competitions of Blizzard's games, including Warcraft 3, WoW, and Starcraft. The service has been dubbed the Blizzard eSports Channel, likely due to its preponderance of Blizzard, eSports, and channels (but no man can be truly certain). The service is accessible for World of Warcraft subscribers through the Account Management page of WoW's main site.

This is pretty cool news for the type of people who like to watch really, really good players have it out, replete with commentary. I visited the site today and found that there was not only a ton of archived games to watch, but there was a bunch of live games going on too. You can filter the videos and live channels by the game or game type, too, in case you hate watching Starcraft players practice their uber micro but just love Sentinels on Scourge action.

I imagine the chances are pretty good that we'll see Starcraft 2 added to the list of games available for viewing once it's launched, too, as well as future titles that make their way to Battle.net.

Given Blizzard's years-long push now for better representation in the eSports world, this is a neat step in the right direction, even if it might not be everybody's cup of tea. If you love eSports, it's worth a look; if not, then OMG! No rush.

Filed under: News items

Victory from the jaws of defeat


Hate Arenas all you want, but I love it for the fact that you will sometimes see the grandest display of skill and mastery of the game in PvP and when those moments happen... it's magic. How appropriate then, that the most magical moment in quite possibly all professional Arena Tournament history was performed by none other than a Mage. It's a phenomenal comeback tale that ranks right up there with the greatest comebacks in sports -- and not just eSports.

Team H O N was down 1-2 against SK-Gaming Asia, better known as the Council of Mages, winners of the Worldwide Invitational in Paris. Both teams from Korea sported the same RMP comps, with some spec changes in between matches to keep everyone guessing. In the fourth match, played in the Ruins of Lordaeron, SK-Gaming showed superb control despite H O N going offensive in the first few minutes... so superb, in fact, that at one point the shoutcasters were already congratulating SK-Gaming. If you've kept abreast of the tiny bits of the ESL Global Finals here at WoW Insider, you'd already know that H O N won the tournament so it should be no spoiler that they escaped from being down 1-2 to tie and eventually win it all.

That's not the magical moment, though. You have to see it for yourself. Don't worry, the video might be long (that's just the first part of the match) but the most jawdropping moment happens right before the four minute mark. The movie may well be Moviewatch material if only because it's so unbelievable you're tempted to think it's all machinima. But the coolest thing about it is that it's not, and OrangeMarmalade will be celebrated as one of the greatest PvP Mages of all time.

Read more →

Filed under: Events, PvP, Arena

Korean team H O N takes the trophy at ESL's Global Arena Tournament


The Electronic Sports League's Intel Extreme Masters Global tournament has ended, and Korean team H O N have come out on top. And according to World of Ming, they completely impressed every player at the tournament -- while they were one of four teams taking the Rogue/Mage/Priest combination to the upper brackets, they apparently played that comp in a way that just rolled on through any competitors (including having their mage, Orangemarmalade, apparently keeping a match alive even after his teammates dropped). Everyone's expecting the RMP domination by the time the next Arena season rolls around, but for now, RMP is where it's at in professional arenas.

Unfortunately for us Americans, the US teams didn't put on much of a showing -- they dropped out quick, and WoM reports that their behavior after the losses was less than classy. They apparently blamed a teammate for dropping out, and it doesn't help that, unlike the Korean teams who have played the same classes and characters for a long time, the Americans apparently came up with their teams and tactics only recently. Looks like they'll have to do a little reforming and rebuilding before this year's BlizzCon.

Congrats to all the teams who walked away with victories in the ESL's Arena tournament. Even from Ming's commentary, it sounds like it was an exciting few days for Arena players.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, PvP, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Electronic Sports League's Intel Extreme Masters going on this weekend


We haven't been paying much attention to the big Electronic Sports League WoW Arena tournament going on over in Europe this week, but World of Ming has been doing a great job covering the event and what's been happening over there. He's got predictions of the matches to come (ESL's site has all of the fights set up for this weekend), and a translated interview with a player from SK Gaming's Korean team.

All in all, the old RMP (Rogue-Mage-Priest) combination still seems to be the team to beat, as Ming has most of his predictions headed that way. But we'll see how it all pans out -- you can watch live results from the tournament come in on ESL's website all weekend, and we'll try to have a wrapup for you here when all is said and done.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, PvP, Arena

ESL Arena tournament Finals kicks off in Germany


The Intel Extreme Masters World of Warcraft Arena tournament will be culminating at the CeBit in Hanover, Germany from March 3rd to 8th, featuring the European Continental Finals as well as the Global Finals, which will determine the overall winner of the 3v3 Arena tournament. The event closes the third season of a globe-hopping event that spanned Dubai to Chengdu to Los Angeles, and a total of $280,000 in prizes is ready for the taking.

The event in Hannover is significant in that it will be the first Level 80 tournament on the pro level, with special rules changes to reduce the effects of RNG. One example is banning speccing into talents like Hunters' T.N.T., Mages' Impact, or Priests' Blackout. ESL has also elected to exclude the new Arena maps -- the gimmicky Dalaran Sewer and Orgrimmar Arena -- from the tournament. This should make the competition notably different from live realms.

The Electronic Sports League will feature live streaming videos of the matches throughout the event, with live commentary from the ESL hosts. Archives of matches throughout the tournament can also be viewed on the site or on youtube, even including popular clips outside of matches such as Swarm's infamous nerdrage breakdown. The program can be viewed through the ESL TV, as well as the live stream of all the matches. All games will be broadcast in English.

Filed under: Events, News items, PvP, Arena

ESL replaced Warcraft 3 with WoW

In its previous two seasons , the Intel Extreme Masters (from the Electronic Sports League) focused on two main eSports disciplines --- Counter-Strike 1.6 and Warcraft 3. Now, however, that's changing. They've announced that World of Warcraft will take over the spot from Warcraft 3, based in part on the success of previous WoW tournaments. While ESL doesn't explicitly say it's an Arena tournament, I think we can safely assume that to be the case.

This is just part of the ongoing eSport effort, and I think we'll hear about a lot more tournaments in the coming months. I don't know if Blizzard meant to bump its own game from some rosters, but I suppose there's only so much room at each tournament. There's also $750,000 (US) in prize money for the victors. They've not announced how much will specifically go to World of Warcraft, but it'll definitely make it worth winning.

[Via Arena Junkies]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, Arena

Blizzard working with ESL on offline tourneys


Lots of people (including MMO Champion) reported over the weekend that according to this interview with David "Shawn" K of the Electronic Sports League, Blizzard is lending their support to get offline tournaments up and running. Blizzard apparently gave ESL a special event realm to run their tournaments in (Upper Deck has also used an event realm to run online tournaments and instances at their TCG events), accounts on those servers with tons of gold and PvP gear per player, and has also implemented special UI modifications for observers.

Interesting. So it seems that the ESL might be stepping up to fill in the space that the WSVG abandoned when they fell apart. In our interview with then-WSVG president Matt Ringel, he also mentioned that they were getting support from Blizzard in the form of special realms and UI mods. So it looks like ESL is now benefiting from the work Blizzard did there.

Of course, the other question we have about these types of updates is when, if ever, they'll be placed in player hands as well. Players have wanted an observation system for PvP, especially in the Arenas, for a long time, and it's not a stretch to think that if Blizzard is developing tools for professional tournaments, they might also have a plan to get those tools into player hands in some form. But even if we don't see them in the game for a long time, it's good to know that tournament development on Blizzard's end didn't die off completely with the WSVG.

Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Contests, Arena

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